The state of Florida has specific legal statutes in place to ensure that liens of all kinds are paid in full within specified time limits. Florida's mechanic's lien laws allow Hollywood working professionals like contractors and subcontractors to more easily enforce their claims of certain payments against property owners. This means that if the lienholder has not fully paid for materials or services rendered, unpaid contractors could legally take action against the property. This may lead to the property being sold to compensate debts owed to contractors or subcontractors. In the event that this happens, the amount owed to the collecting contractor will be paid off from the money made off of the property's sale. If you're an unpaid contractor or subcontractor in Hollywood or elsewhere in Broward County, it's time to take action. Retain a Hollywood mechanic's lien lawyer from David S. Tupler, P.A. to help get you back on track, financially.
HOW IS A CONSTRUCTION LIEN FILED IN FLORIDA?
Florida has some pretty unique laws regarding mechanic's liens. These laws can make filing a difficult process. For example, in Florida, a claim of lien must be prepared and filed by either a licensed attorney or a lienor. Very strict timelines are imposed as well, meaning the process can get complicated, time-consuming and frustrating. In some situations, improperly handling a lien will render it null and void. Hiring a lawyer can help you avoid making critical mistakes that could cost you money. Here's an overview of how the mechanic's lien process works:
- Notice to Owner is prepared: If you have the right to file a lien of a property, notice must first be served to the property's owner. This is a form that establishes that the lienor has the right to file a claim of lien. This notice may be time sensitive and must be served within 45 days the provided services, labor or materials.
- Notice is served: The Notice to Owner must be served using due legal process. This means that the notice must be delivered to the property owner through certified mail services. It must also be signed for upon delivery.
- Preparing and recording the claim of lien: This means that the claim must now be processed by the proper recording office. This must take place within 90 days of the delivery of services. Florida is extremely strict with these timelines. If you don't have the lien prepared and recorded in due time, it may be rendered null and void. This is one of the reasons for hiring a lawyer is important. Your Hollywood construction lien attorney will ensure every deadline is met.
- Serving the claim of lien: A copy of the claim of lien must be served to the property owner before the record of the claim of lien or within 15 days of recording. Florida Statute § 713.08(4)(c)states that if a copy of this claim is not provided correctly, the lien will be rendered void.
- Payment and bond claims: The Miller Act may impact lien rights when government entities are involved. This can add an entirely new step to the lien process which involves the filing of a payment bond.
EXPEDITE THE PROCESS
Everything must be handled based on specific timelines and in a certain order. To an experienced construction lawyer in Hollywood, this is business as usual. Your attorney will be able to ensure that every step of the lien process is handled correctly and quickly.
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FORECLOSURE FROM LIEN ACTION
In some cases, lien action may result in the foreclosure of a property. This means that if you are a contractor who is still owed money after a claim of lien has been filed and recorded, you may also choose to take further action and legally foreclose on a property. When a judgment of this kind is made, the forced sale of a property may occur. Payments of the settlement will them usually be awarded to the contractor.
In many cases, construction liens are paid in full before potential foreclosure status is actually reached. However, sometimes contractors find that they are still waiting for payments to be made for the work that they've done or for the building materials that they used. Retaining a Hollywood mechanic's lien lawyer from David S. Tupler, P.A., can serve many purposes:
- When you retain legal services from a construction attorney, property owners will be more likely to realize that you mean business and are taking action to claim what you're owed. They'll see that you are truly serious about following through and upholding your construction contract. In the state of Florida, certain delinquent property owners have been known to mistreat and ignore contractors after a job has been completed. These property owners may not see contractors as a legitimate threat until they have retained legal counsel. In many cases, the simple act of contacting an attorney will lead to the compliance of property owners. Even the hint that legal action is on its way might just be enough to jumpstart the repayment process.
- If the property owner in question doesn't respond to initial attempts to contact them and take legal action, your Hollywood construction lien attorney will be able to help you take further legal action. In situations like this, you will most likely be able to begin the process of filing a lawsuit.
- You'll be able to take a step back and let your construction attorney handle things so you can focus on other aspects of your life. Instead of spinning your wheels trying to contact the delinquent party, your lawyer will take things over. Your attorney will be able to look at your specific case and move forward in a competent way that complies with Florida's state laws.
In some situations, a surety bond may be required. A surety bond is a type of contract that involves a principal, an obligee, and a surety. With a mechanic's lien, the principal will be the contractor and the obligee will be the owner. The surety bond backs the bond by supplying a specified line of credit which will be available in the event that the principal doesn't perform as required by the construction contract. Surety bonds are different than insurance policies. The three main types of surety bonds are bid bonds, performance bonds, and payment bonds.
LET OUR LAW FIRM HELP YOU
David S. Tupler, P.A. has a team of qualified construction and mechanic's lien lawyers ready and willing to assist you. We can help you protect what is rightfully yours and recover missing finances from your working investments. Remember, time is of the essence. Our firm will be able to competently assist you in filing a claim of lien within the designated time limits and will work diligently to protect your legal rights in Florida.